Artifacts

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre Evidence

On the chilly winter morning of February 14, 1929, four men entered SMC Cartage Company garage in Chicago. Seven members of Bugs Moran’s gang were lined up against the wall and shot. The men opened fire with two Thompson submachine guns and a shotgun. All seven were shot dead.

Investigators recovered shells and bullet fragments from the floor of the North Clark Street garage and organized them in evidence envelopes.

The Cook County coroner took a scientific approach to investigating the Massacre. He brought in Dr. Calvin Goddard, a pioneer in the new field of ballistics testing. Dr. Goddard’s was able to prove that no two revolvers are made exactly alike — that every weapon makes characteristic marks on a bullet and a cartridge shell, and that they are the same every time that gun is fired.

Testing bullets and shell casings recovered from the crime scene, Goddard confirmed that two Tommy guns confiscated from a hoodlum’s house in rural Michigan were used in the Massacre.

The Museum now has these bullets and fragments, cartridges, coroner’s reports and more from the Massacre.

Learn more about the St. Valentine’s Massacre and the Prohibition Era in these two Mob Museum microsites.